A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
The Mexican Caribbean city of Veracruz was an excellent site for the recent Central American and Caribbean Games despite the serious situation the country is facing following the police kidnapping, last September, of 43 student teachers. Citizens in the nation, with extensive international solidarity, angrily demand their re-appearance.
Although Cuba achieved the highest number of gold medals and was declared winner of the competition, substantial qualitative progress was noted in different sports from several other countries in the region. This also made Cubans proud because some of the advances were the result of the efforts of Cuban experts, technicians and advisers, who in solidarity assist other countries in the area.
As always happens in sporting events where Cuba takes part by its own right or invited for its prestige and sports development, the US corporate media –that overflows its influence on the media of other countries that nurture their news agencies– tried to discredit the Cuban victory in the games through the usual manipulated news about Cuban "deserters", "runaways" and “escapees”, as if the freedom of contract and movement of athletes from the island were limited by the government of Cuba and not by the US.
This was confirmed by Maria Luisa Fernandez, Consul General of Cuba in Veracruz, who categorically stated to the press that "Cuban athletes are at liberty to exercise their right to travel to wherever they so prefer. "
The Cuban delegation won 123 gold medals, 8 more than Mexico, 53 more than Colombia, 67 more than Venezuela and 108 more than the Dominican Republic and Guatemala, who were its closest followers in the competition.
Cuba was represented by 543 young athletes and just nine of these took the bait offered by the Cuban Adjustment Act which provides great migratory privileges to Cubans who abandon their country while a mission abroad. The US does not offer these privileges to citizens from any other country in the world.
Since its enactment in 1966, 39 years ago, this law has been the mechanism used by the United States to steal scientists, professionals, technicians, artists and athletes from Cuba. It also feeds the threat of a migratory crisis between the two nations that could justify a military attack on the island.
When, at the beginning of the last decade of last century Cuba, found itself in the need to implement a series of market-related economic measures to address the economic crisis caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union and the group of European socialist countries –which through fair trade practices had helped the island face the US blockade– all Cuban society suffered the appearance of certain elements of capitalism. This stimulated an intensification of offers to hire Cuban athletes and repeatedly tested the sincerity of their support to the socialist project. With some sad exceptions, they confirmed their patriotic affiliation and identification with the revolutionary process and the socialist project.
The purpose of the US policy of blockade against Cuba, since its introduction in 1962 and especially after the Torricelli and Helms-Burton Acts were enacted, respectively in 1992 and 1996, as well as the purpose of the provisions and administrative rules of George W. Bush in 2004, have been to create a situation of extreme poverty in Cuba that would produce a popular uprising.
The economic and financial blockade, the threats of military aggression and attempts at political and diplomatic exclusion all converge in the purpose of promoting discontent and to weaken the formidable popular support for the revolutionary leadership that has given strength and relevance to their project.
The tactic of encouraging disordered emigration of Cubans has the propagandistic purpose of presenting the phenomenon as a sign of failure of the revolutionary project in the island. Thus, they promote the false idea that all Cuban immigrants in the United States are there for political reasons.
To properly assess the merit of Cuban sports policy, we must consider that progress in that field has been achieved in the midst of an unequal confrontation between the will of a small and poor country to develop its own project of building a socialist society and the irrational determination of the self-appointed world metropolis to defend the imperial supremacy of capital and its global hegemony.
December 6, 2014.